Donald Trump’s cabinet will have more white males than any other president since Ronald Reagan

Mr Trump often compares himself to Mr Reagan, the celebrity turned governor turned president, and it turns out there are more similarities than first thought

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The Independent US

Cross a banking tycoon, an oil giant, a fast food CEO and three retired generals, and what do you get?

A presidential cabinet that is more white and more male than any presidential cabinet since President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.

If the cabinet picks are confirmed after their senate hearings this month, the proportion of white men will surpass that of the last four presidents: Barack Obama, George W Bush, Bill Clinton and George H W Bush.

Women and people of colour only hold five of the 21 cabinet jobs. Two positions around the table have yet to be filled.

None of the women or people of colour will be in the so-called inner cabinet, the most powerful part of government.

For example, Elaine Chao, an Asian American and the wife of senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, is transportation secretary. The only African American man in the cabinet, Ben Carson, is housing and urban development secretary. Betsy DeVos, a billionaire lobbyist, is education secretary. 

Nikki Haley, of Indian heritage, will be the ambassador to the United Nations, a role that is not traditionally seen as part of the cabinet. Linda McMahon, a former boss of World Wrestling Entertainment, will win the small business administration.

But the top jobs, such as secretary of state and attorney general, were handed to white men.

As reported by the New York Times, Mr Clinton’s first cabinet, 45 per cent of the appointees were women or nonwhite men. That proportion increased to 64 per cent under Mr Obama, who was responsible for appointing the first black attorney general, Eric Holder, followed by the first black woman, Loretta Lynch.

While past presidents have shown a preference for women to run the labour department, Mr Trump has appointed Andy Puzder, a white fast food CEO whose own employees testified against him for alleged missing paychecks and maltreatment.

Mr Clinton did not appoint women to run the same department, but he made different strides towards gender and racial diversity.

He appointed Norman Y Mineta, the fist Asian-American cabinet member, as the head of the commerce department of the end of Mr Clinton’s second term.

The cabinet is also extremely wealthy. When 17 picks had been appointed for the top jobs, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders pointed out that their collective wealth was more than a third of US households.

While Mr Trump has frequently compared himself to Mr Reagan, it was not apparent that the admiration was always reciprocated.

His autograph for Mr Trump was signed "Reagan Reagan", perhaps a sign he was not paying much attention.